Monday, March 26, 2012

Improving Technology is so Silly

When President Obama included a couple of sentences in a speech delivered February 23 suggesting that obtaining biofuel from algae was one possible element in a number of alternatives to fossil fuels, the Wackaloons began howling in derision.  Apparently they all subscribe to the abiogenic origin of petroleum or think oil comes from dinosaurs.

"Pond scum stinks!" some said. I used to recognize that I was approaching an oil-producing town by its odor, so what's the point of that remark?

"Shovel algae into your gas tank and your car won't work!" others cried. Have those people tried running their automobiles on crude oil? That viscous ooze will wreck your car just as quickly. Do they really think Canadian tar sands produce something ready-to-use? I suspect some may actually believe the tar sands produce, out of color-coded wells, regular and high-test blends of gasoline.

Biodiesel fuels are already in use and continuing research will improve the efficiency of their production, whether from used cooking oil, soybeans, Camelina sativa, or algae. They have been tested in ships and aircraft. Algae consist of as much as 40 percent oils and lipids; more research is needed to standardize properties, bring the cost down, and allow scaled up production of the raw material, which can be fed into refineries of existing design. Conoco-Phillips, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Monsanto, and other industrial giants are investing in such research. A number of Republicans requested grants for algae-source biofuels research. 

No, the Republican boobgeoisie, in their ongoing war against science, have now decided that any and all alternative sources of energy are of the devil and any science that disagrees with their ideology is "controversial." They prefer to blame President Obama for high gasoline prices, in awe over his ability to control the prices in Europe, which have for years mirrored prices in the U.S. (although shifted higher due to higher taxes).

UPDATE:  The Wall Street Journal notes a demonstration in use of biofuels during Naval exercises:
Next month, in naval exercises off the coast of Hawaii, five U.S. warships will make history: They will be the first to use biofuels to power their huge turbines, as well as the jet planes screaming off a carrier's deck and helicopters hovering overhead.
The flotilla—powered by a mixture of cooking grease and algae oil—is the centerpiece of the U.S. Navy's efforts to shake off its centurylong dependence on petroleum.


Illustration is a portion of a mural painted in 1925 by Charles R. Knight for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County depicting some of the prehistoric animals that were trapped in the Rancho La Brea tar pit.
     

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2 Comments:

Anonymous toko baju muslim said...

This is a great posting I have read. I like your article. Thank you

4:32 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Thanks. I just happened to see a link to the Naval exercises next month in which biofuels will be used (see Update at bottom of post).

9:35 AM  

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